Man banned from begging in Harlow Town Centre

A MAN has been banned from begging and acting in an anti-social manner under a two-year criminal behaviour order.

Lewis Cooper-Gray, 31, was issued with a community protection notice on November 27 last year, which prevented him from begging, acting aggressively, targeting women who were alone or with children, and entering The Water Gardens, Harlow, and Costa Coffee and Starbucks in Broadwalk, Harlow.

He breached the notice by begging for money from customers in Costa Coffee on November 28 and was arrested and charged with failing to comply with a community protection notice.

Cooper-Gray, of no fixed address, admitted the offence at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on November 29 and sentencing was adjourned until Thursday 28 February, when he was given an absolute discharge.

Gray was given a suspended sentence on February 13 after admitting using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in Starbucks on November 23 last year.

Gray, who had previously been banned from the store for persistent anti-social behaviour, threatened a staff member after being asked to leave.

He was given a four week sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £115 compensation.

He was made subject of a criminal behaviour order on Thursday 28 February.

It says he must not beg for money in any place, and must not behave in an anti-social manner that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress in the Harlow district.

Sergeant Kevin Mayle said: “We work with local authorities, charities and other agencies to support people who are in genuine need of help.

“But we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour or aggressive begging, and will use the powers available to us to deal with persistent anti-social behaviour, as in this case.”

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